Page 25

40113 ChoiceRx ePub long (1)

Part D Benefiaries and Mail Order MENTORx surveyed 669 Medicare Part D beneficiaries and “Nearly two-thirds of seniors (63 percent) indicated they were fearful of losing access to the pharmacy of their choice if they were required to use mail order. In addition, a plurality of seniors expressed concerns about using mail order pharmacies, including running out of their medications; obtaining prescriptions in a timely manner; lost, stolen or damaged medications; and the ability to consult with a pharmacist they know and trust.” Also, “If required to use mail order, 55 percent of respondents were concerned about losing access to the pharmacist they trust. Medication waste generated through mail order concerned 41 percent of respondents. Four out of five seniors (83 percent) expressed opposition to mandatory mail order if it would force their community pharmacy to close. Beneficiaries also opposed mandatory mail order policies if there were a greater than 40 percent chance that the requirement would force the local pharmacy to close. Among those who currently use either a voluntary or mandatory mail-order option, respondents indicated they speak to a mail-order pharmacist once every six months—just 2.1 times per year, on average. Most respondents (57 percent) were personally familiar with mail order pharmacies, having used them at some point.” 17 Mail Order Horror Stories Pharmacists As a result of transparency issues and inadequate oversight, many nightmares have resulted from PBMs. For example in one case that involved many parties, specifically “a coalition of more than 30 state attorneys general in the last five years filed lawsuits alleging PBM abuses, securing $370 million in restitution.  Two former mail order pharmacists in Hunt/Gauger vs Merck/Merck-Medco had alleged that when a prescription wasn’t filled on time they would be ordered by superiors to destroy the script and any associated paperwork to hide the evidence.  This is in addition to their allegations that the PBM had delivered medications without ensuring that the correct dosage, strength, or quantity was being dispensed.”18 Additionally, the dealings that go on behind closed doors at PBMs increase the likelihood that fraud will occur. A Maine newspaper, the Portland Press-Herald, reported a scenario in which a pharmacist was being “charged with receiving more than $120,000 from six online companies in 2006 in return for making sure the tribe’s mail-order pharmacy, known as PIN Rx, filled the prescriptions of the companies’ customers.”19 Michigan Medical Disposal Every year the Michigan Pharmacists Association holds a medical disposal event, and according to MPA, “At the third annual Medication Disposal Event, held today September 11, 2012 at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, more than 548 pounds of non-controlled substances and 31 pounds of controlled substances were dropped off by Lansing area residents to be safely disposed of.” Held in conjunction with Michigan Pharmacists Association’s (MPA) Pharmacy Day at the Capitol, the general public, State Representatives and Senators, and government employees downtown were invited to bring their unused, unwanted or expired medications to be disposed of. Those who brought medications, including controlled substance medications/narcotics learned about properly disposing of medications and the vital role that pharmacists play in keeping patients and communities safe. 17. Survey: Medicare Beneficiaries Oppose Mandatory Mail Drug Plans.” ncpanet.org, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 01 Feb. 2013.< http://www.ncpanet.org/index.php/news-releases/1549-survey-medicare-beneficiaries-oppose-mandatory-mail-drugplans> 18. http://www.ncpanet.org/pdf/legal/advance_pcs_settlement_info.pdf 19. “Former Maine Pharmacist Sentenced for Kickbacks.” Portland Press Herald, 8 Aug. 2012. Web. 01 Feb. 2013. <http://www.pressherald.com/news/Former-Maine-pharmacist-sentenced-for-kickbacks.html> 25


40113 ChoiceRx ePub long (1)
To see the actual publication please follow the link above